Watching your friend go through a breakup is tough. It’s hard to know what to say or what to do and you feel like you’re being a bad friend. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to help, which might make you feel better as well.
The biggest thing your friend needs you to do while she goes through a breakup is to listen. She will have a lot to rant about and will want to talk through the good and the bad aspects about her relationship. Listening and being a shoulder to cry on will show your friend that you care about her and that you’re on her side.
Perfectly timed “I can’t believe your ex did that,” or “What an idiot!” during rants will go a very long way! Unless she asks specifically, you don’t need to give her any advice. Just listening, nodding thoughtfully and being on hand with tissues will let her know that she has your full attention at a time she needs it most.
Even if you’d warned your friend about her ex before they got together, the last thing she wants to hear is ‘I told you so’. Sometimes, people need to physically go through an experience to understand it, so your friend’s state of mind before she got with their ex will no doubt be different now that they’ve broken up. Lecturing her and telling her that she made a mistake or that she has herself to blame is not useful for her and will not make her feel any better.
Hang out together
Have a movie night with your friend, go to the gym together or better still, have some real therapy together. If you go for a movie night, avoid chick flicks and rom-coms because this might make your friend miss her old relationship and make her feel worse. Don’t forget to bring the popcorn and ice cream!
When people breakup, they invariably lose the person that they talked to the most. This causes feelings of loneliness. Communicating with your friend, texting her every now and again, calling her, even skyping will help with feelings of loneliness and remind her that you are thinking of her.
Be the voice of reason
The first few days after a breakup are the toughest. Your friend may feel compelled to go back to her ex and take them back regardless of the reasons for the breakup. As her friend, you ought to be the voice of reason. Stop her doing impulsive things that she might regret. Come to an agreement that allows at least 24 hours to pass before anything irrational is done.
Next time you have something to do, invite your friend to tag along. Or arrange a girls night in with her and all your other friends. Giving your friend something else to focus on, instead of her breakup, will help her to start getting over it and moving on with her life. Most importantly, it distracts her from getting into contact with her ex when she feels particularly lonely.
Don’t be a matchmaker
The last thing your friend probably wants to think about at this moment is another relationship. Setting her up with your single friends or signing her up on to a dating site can be put aside for a while – now is not the time!
Tell her how awesome she is
After breaking up with her ex, your friend may take a knock to her self-esteem. She may think her looks or personality were the reasons for the breakup. Remind her how good she looks, how fun she is to be around, what attractive qualities she has or how much you value her friendship so that she knows what a beautiful person she is.
By Samantha Maden